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Limitations of waterjet cutting, Part 4


Small parts must be connected, either to each other or to the sheet of material, to prevent them from falling into the waterjet tank when they are cut. This can mean that they must be broken off by working the part back and forth until it snaps off from the tab; the part is left with a vestige of the original tab. At Big Blue Saw, we offer various finishing options, like Basic Finish, to remove the tabs for you when necessary.

Below is a set of waterjet cut stainless steel parts which shows what this looks like.



Illustration : Tabbed parts with US Quarter (24.26 mm/0.955 inches diameter)


Illustration : A closeup of a part removed from the tabbed group. Note the vestigial tab at the bottom of the part.

Loosely connected segments and vibration

This limitation does not come up too often, but it is worth keeping in mind, particularly if you are making signs with lettering or logos. If your part has an “island” connected to the main part by a single, very thin segment (also called a bridge), the island area will often vibrate as it is being cut, ruining the smooth cut line. For this reason, we suggest making connectors at least 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick, and placing at least 3 on each island area.


Illustration : Island connected with thin segment

Thin segments/features

Similarly, connecting segments themselves can vibrate, causing the segment to be destroyed during cutting. Again, make sure that the bridge is at least 1/8 inch (3 mm) wide.